After being grievously wounded at Waterloo, Jeremy Maubrey returns from war to find his new life as the tenth Duke of Ainsworth painful, dull and full of obligations. That is, until he wakes to find himself indelibly decorated in a mortifying place and mocking manner.
Though he cannot recall much of the hellish night when he was abducted and tattooed, he cannot forget the waif-like villainess responsible or her haunting eyes. Ducal duties must wait till he finds the culprit and takes his revenge.
Miss Prudence Haversham, Bath’s only female apothecary, knows she has a problem. A big, broad shouldered problem. At least she will have, if the tenth Duke of Ainsworth ever discovers she is to blame for tattooing him. Unfortunately, she meant to have tattooed the previous Duke of Ainsworth, who tried to debauch her and disgraced her with his lies. Worse yet, she learns this duke is one of four infamously implacable cavalry officers known as ‘The Horsemen of the Apocalypse.’
No sooner has the vengeful duke traced his abductress to Bath, than Prudence Haversham overturns the duke’s every expectation and intention. In turn, the duke proves himself an honorable and surprisingly forgiving man who earns the wary apothecary’s love.
Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give is that based on The Duke’s Tattoo, I will happily read another Miranda Davis novel. Prudence and Ainsworth are that star-crossed couple we find often enough in regency period romance novels: he a duke, she a lowly apothecary. How do they bridge such a gap?
I love the romance in this book, the obviously-in-love-from-the-beginning aspect, just-needing-to-beat-the-obstacles story line:
That was the precise moment he knew it was hopeless. He couldn’t hope to get her out of his system. Not tonight or ever. It was much too late for that. At the sight of her, his heart boomed in his chest like a mad timpanist played it. Blood pounded in his head and elsewhere. Prudence Haversham made him greedy in a way he never felt about a woman before. He wanted her every waking smile, every kittenish blink. He wanted to be with her not for one or two chaste nights of painful frustration, but for all nights to come clasped skin to skin in sweaty ecstasy. Staying away had shredded his self-discipline.
But I also LOVE Davis’ wit:
In which our hero succeeds in putting his worst foot forward then into his mouth.
I give The Duke’s Tattoo 4 out of 5 stars, bridging on 4.5. Adding it to My Favorite Romance Novels List.